Reddy Vineyards Assesses the Impact of February Freeze on Grapevines with Bud Dissection

Texas Wine Bud Break

Reddy Vineyards Executive Winemaker and Viticulturist Lood Kotze explains bud dissection.

 Brownfield, TX – The February winter event (“Snowpocalypse” 2021) brought historic low temperatures to the Texas High Plains, threatening vineyards responsible for nearly 80% of the state’s wine grape growing. Temperatures approached zero degrees Fahrenheit in Brownfield and in some cases were negative in more northern regions of the Panhandle.

In the weeks that have followed, the Reddy Vineyards team has conducted an extensive assessment of the vineyard to determine the scope of potential damage to the vines from this event. In the video clip above, Executive Winemaker and Viticulturist, Lood Kotze discusses the way in which growers evaluate potential bud damage through a process called “bud dissection”.

A bud dissection from Reddy Vineyards’ Barbera. Clearly visible are healthy green nodes. Look closely and you can see the primary (center), secondary (bottom), and tertiary (top) buds.

Our initial bud dissections suggest that while some varietals may see slightly lower output this year as a result of freeze damaged to select vines, we are optimistic that the winter storm did not significantly harm the vineyard. More mild temperatures than initially forecasted, coupled with humid conditions, significant snowfall, and ice coverage on the vines tempered the impact of the low temperatures.

A vine “bleeding” sap as we quickly approach budbreak at Reddy Vineyards.

With sap now running through the vines and bud break imminent, we are excited to begin the 2021 harvest season in earnest and look forward to sharing a strong crop with our partners and patrons.

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